Today was Day 2 of our forced homeschooling and I really think the kids and I, both, had a better time. I did a few things differently such as incorporating a welcome back song on guitar upon returning to the classroom after lunch, some science experiments (yesterday’s History & Geography section on Continents was not quite as intriguing :)), and a more engaged story-time. Our schedule for today was:
|Time||J (Kinder)||E (Preschool)|
|8:30 – 9:00 Workout|
|9:00 – 9:30 Language Arts||Sight Words, Homophones||Lowercase alphabets|
|9:30 – 9:50 Center Time|
|9:45 – 10:10 Reading||Marley, Skills WkBk Stories||Curious George|
|10:10 – 10:40 Snack Time|
|10:40 – 11:45 Language Arts||Sight Words, Bossy ‘r’||Language Activities, Coloring, Maze|
|11:45 – 12:45 Lunch|
|12:45 – 1:10 Recess outdoors|
|1:10 – 2:20 Math||Addition, Subtraction, Number Bonds, Code Cracking, etc.||Tracing numbers, Counting raindrops, Matching numbers, etc|
|2:20 – 3:00 Science||Oil & Water Density Experiment||
Rubberband Fishing, Colored water
The kids are now watching TV….and will continue to do so until 5:00 p.m. which means, they get a very generous 2 hours of television now. Thankfully, they continue to follow my rule of only watching educational shows on weekdays – for the last two days it has been Magic School Bus and even though it is a little advanced for my littles, they still enjoy exploring the different topics with the class.
I was able to visit J’s school yesterday to pick up his workbooks. As a result, his homeschooling curriculum is now more structured. I got a subscription to an educational website on Sunday night so I could access their worksheets and I might still keep the membership because it truly is helpful in a number of ways. Still, it is good to be able to guide and teach him along the coursework he would have done otherwise at school.
Experience with E: The continued challenge of homeschooling that I have discovered in my two days is having to manage E and her preschool time. Poor kid, I feel bad for her. Typically, at her preschool, she engages in morning educational activities that include a lot of songs, and most of the rest of the time is spent engaging in playtime, center time, and guided but unstructured activities. There are a lot of other kids to hang out with and even though she spends her time playing with her two best friends in class, she still gets a lot of free time.
In mommy’s school, she has a more structured schedule and one that she does not hesitate to violate. She often goes off and does her own thing much to my chagrin. Under normal circumstances, I would be more than happy to see her work independently on whatever floats her boat but in the situation that we have been forced into, my irritation stems from her being distracting to J. However, she is a sport and tries all she can to be involved and engaged. I love her calling me: Ms. Teacher (Lastname)… so cute!! I love when she hops on my lap for a quick little cuddle before doing her work.
Experience with J: Talking of whom, I am so impressed with how J has taken to homeschooling. He does whine every now and then but by and large he appears to enjoy the work I have him do, my teaching, a lot of the one-on-one attention he gets, the diverse activities, and so on. He does need to be reminded to pay attention and stay focused sometimes but he gets it, he gets why he needs to be mommy’s student now and he understands why he needs to do what he is being told to do.
I love his hugs. I love when he says, “I love you as a teacher, Mommy’ or ‘You are a great teacher, Mommy’. He is a great kid and because of this experience, I am personally and more directly noticing how smart my kids really are! Of course I am biased but when they exert themselves into their work, they are so brilliant, I just have to sit back, allow them the space they need to shine, and admire their calm confidence and belief in themselves.
My experience: WOW! It has been quite the two days of homeschooling! I didn’t realize just how much work being a homeschooling mom can be. Perhaps I feel a tad overwhelmed because this is all so new to me. I have hitherto, only helped J with his homework that is assigned by his homeroom teacher. While I obviously have experience with teaching university students and all the prep work that comes with teaching 2/3 different courses in one academic quarter, three times a year, teaching a kindergartner and preschooler at their levels without assuming anything about pre-existing skills and knowledge, has made for eventful two days. I will be lying if I said I didn’t quite enjoy this new challenge though.
I honestly am grateful to everything that has made me be here for my kids and husband especially in the time of COVID-19. Being a stay-at-home-mom is a position I appreciate now, more than ever! While many parents are now being forced to stay home or work from home, having a parent consistently be there for the kids has been a lifesaver for us. Aaron has been working from home exclusively starting this week while I am able to provide a much needed structure to the kids’ lives. I keep them creatively, academically, and physically engaged throughout the day or at least until 3:00 p.m., cook fresh meals for everyone, and in general embraced every ounce of being a stay-at-home-mom identity.
In doing so, I haven’t forgotten my own creative health. I continue to dot and sew and now, blog. Life is busier in more ways than I have ever known before but it is so in a weirdly different way. Even though the entire family is homebound, I have left to go out twice in two days. Yesterday, to pick up J’s school stuff and later to a grocery store to try and buy some milk (I couldn’t find any with a good expiration date) and today, to pick up some bread and try to find milk at Target (found both, Yay!) – I will write more about this in a separate post.
For now, in doing homeschooling, I am literally taking it one day at a time. I prepare for the next day, the day before. Hopefully, now that I have J’s teacher’s notes, I can work on a lesson plan and prep things a couple of days or more in advance.
Day 3 of self-isolation and homeschooling tomorrow…